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Good News - September 2018

Alone by Choice

Originally written by Rev. Dale R. Minor, Candy and Doug Matthew’s pastor from Ohio. Edited for space.

 

         Among the books generally assigned as required reading for middle or high school students is Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe first published in 1719.  This book covers the many adventures of Crusoe including his several years of being marooned on a deserted island. At least it seemed deserted for quite a while, a period during which the hero had to deal with extreme loneliness.

         A more modern version of such a tail is the movie, Cast Away, starring Tom Hanks.  In this story Hank’s character is an employee of the FedEx Company who is involved in a plane crash at sea which leaves him the lone survivor who makes his way to an uncharted island.  This story, while dealing with the physical trials of simple survival, also speaks to the emotional trauma of being alone.  At one point our hero finds some packages which have drifted ashore from the wrecked plane and discovers a soccer ball among them. Eventually the castaway paints a face on the ball and names it Wilson.  This becomes his companion, someone to talk to, one who listens to the ravings of a man who at times is on the edge of losing his mind.  This story provides an excellent study of the effects of isolation.

         Recently I have been considering people in our culture who spend a great deal of time alone, -- by choice!  I am not talking about those who could be classified as hermits, those who, for what ever reason, have retreated from society to live apart from the crowd.  I am talking about people who have become isolated while living in densely populated areas. Those who stubbornly cling to a deserted island called “self.”

         Its no secret that we live in “the information age” and modern technology makes every imaginable bit of information available at our fingertips. [Yet]  True communication is more than an  exchange of words, it is a sharing of lives and spirits culminating in the development of relationships.  And the development of relationships is key to a healthy, vibrant and joyful living.

         This is true in our spiritual lives as well as in our personal and business dealings. In our faith communities we speak often of having a personal relationship with Jesus. Basically this means that through the power of the Holy Spirit we have developed a relationship of faith, love, trust, and friendship with Jesus such that we are in constant communion with Him.  However, many people find in difficult to perceive of such a relationship because they have never been able to enjoy such attributes among those they want to call friends.

         It has been said, it is difficult for a person to understand God as a loving, merciful, nuturing Father if that person has never had such a father in their lives. If a persons father was absent, or was mean and nasty, uncaring, etc. they tend to transfer such traits to God and thus want nothing to do with Him.  Likewise, as we become more and more isolated by our life choices…by the walls we erect to ward off hurts, etc., we can find ourselves more estranged from everyone, including our Lord.

         God has made it clear that a healthy spiritual life is dependent upon our establishing a personal relationship with Jesus; a relationship made possible through the power of the Holy Spirit.  How will we know how to establish such a relationship with One who is Spirit if we haven’t first learned how to enter into relationship with flesh and blood people who sit in the same room with us?

 

 

 

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Wake Up Call Who Is Like God? (1/4) Micah 1:1-7
Good News For Sale Who Is Like God? (2/4) Micah 3:1-12
Who Are You Again? Who Is Like God? (3/4) Micah 4:6-5:5a
God Like No Other Who Is Like God? (4/4) Micah 7:14-20
     
First Things First Thanksgiving Psalm 50:1-15, 23
Lead By The Head Christ the King Sunday Ephesians 1:15–23
     
Matter-ing TGI Monday (1/6) Matthew 28:1-10
God's Superhighway TGI Monday (2/6) Matthew 22:34-40
As Is, Just As TGI Monday (3/6) Luke 19:1-10
Authentic Living TGI Monday (4/6) Genesis 1-2
How Not To Be A Christian At Work TGI Monday (5/6) 1 Peter 3:13-16
Kingdom Platform TGI Monday (6/6) Colossians 3:12-25
       
Remembering Your First Love Seeking God (1/10) Hosea 10, 11, 14
Grabbing a Slice Seeking God (2/10) 1 Chronicles 12, 16, John 13
The Truth About The Truth Seeking God (3/10) 1 John 1:5-10
No More Seeking God (4/10) John 8:2-11
God's Glue Seeking God (5/10) Ephesians 2:1-9
Getting Ready Seeking God (6/10) 1 Peter 1:13-21
Love's Acid Test Seeking God (7/10) John 14:15-24
We're Good Seeking God (8/10) 1 John 4:5-21
A Prisoner Freed Seeking God (9/10) Matthew 18:21-35
Light Power Seeking God (10/10) Galatians 5:16-26
     
Promise Keeper Refuel (1/5) John 14:18-31
John 16:4-15
Cosmic Math Refuel (2/5) Mark 1:1-11
Fruity Living Refuel (3/5) Galatians 5:16-26
Step One Refuel (4/5) John 3:1-16
Set Apart Refuel (5/5) Romans 8:1-11
     
Fear Not  Unshakeable (1/6) Matthew 28:1-10
On Your Feet Unshakeable (2/6) John 21:1-19
I Have This Hope
     song video
Unshakeable (3/6) 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
The Most Perfect Imperfect Prayer Unshakeable (4/6) Mark 9:14-29
God's Job Description Unshakeable (5/6) Exodus 3:1-15
Confidence In The Chaos Unshakeable (6/6) John 16:25-33

Going Deeper

These questions and actions are designed to help you find ways to take Sunday’s Scripture out into the world as the hands and feet of Christ. 

Making You Think

·         We’re all naïve in some ways. How do you think you are naïve? Do you feel good or bad about this?

·         How do you think somebody could be persuaded to do something foolish?

·         What consequences might you suffer if you don’t take precautions against succumbing to temptation?

Memory Verse

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

- 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

Next Steps

Consider one area where you often face temptation. In a moment when you’re not facing that temptation, devise a plan to get through it, the next time temptation hits. This is much easier when you are not in the heat of the moment!

 

Good News Archive
Good News - Sept 2018
Good News - August 2018
Good News - July 2018
Good News - June 2018
Good News - May 2018
Good News - April 2018
Good News - Mar 2018
Good News - Feb 2018







Resources

RCA - our denominational site
GotQuestions - great apologetics site

Bible Gateway - online Bibles
Blue Letter Bible - online Bibles + commentaries
Bible Hub - online Bibles + commentaries

OnePlace - audio sermons

Logos - Pastor Brian's choice of Bible software
e-sword - free Bible software






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